The Generation (And Their Music) That Got The World All Shook Up

by Jenna Tonsor

In the U.K., they’re best known as the Bulge. In Canada, they’re called the Boomies. But here in the US, we know them as the Baby Boomers.

FST’s newest original Cabaret, The Wonder Years: The Music of the Baby Boomers, celebrates the generation responsible for Apollo 11, Ovaltine, and some of the best music of all time. Come experience—either for the first time or perhaps your second—the wonder of an entire generation that redefined the American Dream.

“Every baby boomer I have ever met always talks about how that era of music is the best music ever,” said show Director Catherine Randazzo. Featuring songs like “Rock Around the Clock,” “Satisfaction,” and “What a Wonderful World,” The Wonder Years brings to life the music of the good old days.

But these songs did more than just entertain. They took a vibrant snapshot of 76 million American youths and the mindset which set them apart from any previous generation—the idea and hope that the country, and even the world, with a little help from a friend, could in fact become a better place.

“It’s not just the size of this generation that’s made them the most powerful generation in our history, said the Cabaret’s Lead Developer, Rebecca Hopkins, “but their anything-is-possible spirit they developed in their youth and never let go of.”

The Baby Boomers invented rock ‘n’ roll, were the hippies of Woodstock, and the soldiers of Vietnam. “Somehow, these children of the Cold War, who came of age during a time of massive social upheaval, never lost their sense of wonder,” continued Hopkins. “And because of this, they set their goals high—high enough to walk on the moon.”

And who, of those who lived through it, could forget that magical moment of when Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, 238,900 miles away from our tiny blue dot? No one—thanks to a little invention called television.

“Audiences will know every word to every song in The Wonder Years,” added Randazzo. “Plus, folks will remember the ads, sitcoms, and songs on the jukebox, along with the artists who made them all famous.”

Returning to the Florida Studio Theatre stage are Alayna Gallo and Stacey Harris. Alayna Gallo was last seen in Dancing in the Street. FST veteran Stacey Harris has appeared in Burt and Me, That’s Life, I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, and That’s Life Again.
Alongside these memorable and talented ladies, are two newcomers: Chris Anthony Giles and Michael Gray Grieve. Chris Anthony Giles may be a new face here in Sarasota, but you may have already seen him on television in The Mysteries of Laura and Boardwalk Empire. Michael Gray Grieve begins his professional career here at FST after graduating just last year from the esteemed Webster University.

Developed by Richard and Rebecca Hopkins with musical arrangements by Jim Prosser, The Wonder Years: The Music of the Baby Boomers is sure to inspire a trip to the theatre full of wonderful memories, both old and new.

The Wonder Years: The Music of the Baby Boomers plays in FST’s Court Cabaret starting February 6. For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.